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Beware! Kenyan Huduma Namba ‘online application’ charging KSh200 fee is a scam

On 2 April 2019 Kenya officially launched the National Integrated Identity Management System (NIIMS), commonly known as Huduma Namba.

The biometric system will capture and manage information on citizens and other people living in Kenya.

The programme will help citizens access government services faster and more efficiently, says the interior ministry.

But as the registration drive gains momentum, social media conmen are trying to make money off it.

Fake Google Form on Facebook

A Facebook page has posted a list of “Huduma Namba facts” that includes a link for “online registration”. This takes users to a Google Form titled “Huduma Namba application”, which shows a sample Huduma card.

It reads: “All Citizens above 18 years shall be required to submit their applications online before 15 April 2019 to enable assigning  of the Huduma Numbers that will be used in processing Huduma Cards.”

Then comes the sign that this is a scam: “An applicant shall pay a non-refundable fee of KSh200.”

The form includes a bank account number and M-Pesa paybill number.

Is there a fee for Huduma Namba application?

Africa Check asked Okitch Otieno, an assistant county commissioner and one of the government officials overseeing the registration drive, if any payment had to be made in a Huduma Namba application.

“The Huduma registration exercise is absolutely free,” he said.

“Nobody is supposed to pay anything to anybody. Besides, the data capture forms are supposed to be filled in in hardcopy and taken to the nearest assistant chief’s office or where registration assistants are located.”

He added: “If there is anybody asking people to pay, that is a case to be investigated and if he/she is a fraudster then the law shall take its course. We are taking it seriously and we are going to bring such culprits to justice.”

Will successful applicants get a Huduma card?

Otieno said the Huduma card will not be immediately issued after a successful registration. Successful applicants will instead be given an acknowledgement slip.

“After undergoing the registration exercise, you will not be issued with Huduma Namba card as claimed on social media,” he said.

“You will instead be issued with an acknowledgement slip that shows you have participated and you have registered. The Huduma Namba will come at a later date.”

Is the sample Huduma card genuine?

The Huduma card sample used on the Google Form has been posted on Facebook by other users expressing their views on the ongoing registration process.

But in earlier posts on Facebook and Twitter, Huduma Kenya  explained that the sample was of a card first issued in 2016 by Huduma Kenya, MasterCard and four local banks for electronic payments by the government.

“The image of the Huduma Card... has no connection to the Huduma Namba (NIIMS) and we are currently not issuing Huduma Cards at any of our Huduma Centres,” reads the Twitter post.

Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho also posted a tweet denouncing the card sample making rounds on social media as fake. – Dancan Bwire (16/04/2019)


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